Advice on a BC touring setup?

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AKengr

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Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby AKengr » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:26 pm

I have been a downhill skier all my life. Last few years I picked up cross country as well. I have a set of classic skis and a set of skate skis for groomed trails, down hill skis, and a set of alpine bc skis for steep deep powder (180 cm long 105 mm under foot setup with skins. Almost a water ski...). But none of these is effective for touring off track through rolling terrain. So I am thinking about a setup for off track touring through rolling terrain.

I live in AK and the conditions can vary wildly: -20 F with a foot of fresh dry powder to an icy snow machine trail at +30 F. In some areas there are trails over wooded rolling terrain and it would be fun to have a ski setup that could handle fresh powder but also kick and glide well on those trails. I know that is a compromise but the goal would be to find a better back country access tool for these wooded areas.

So what about a set of the old 10th mountain skis with BC NNN bindings? Or Fisher s bound 98s? BC NNN or 3 pin? I think I want metal edges for better control on the icy days.

I don’t know how to telemark but not opposed to picking that up. I am about 6’ tall weigh 185 and I am in my early 50s. I am in pretty good shape and ski several times a week. I often carry a ~20 lb pack, just in case...

Any advice would be appreciated.

Chisana

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Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby Chisana » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:46 pm

I am sure a lot more knowledgeable people than I will help you out,but since I tend to ski the terrain and conditions you describe,I will take a stab at it. If I were to buy a new set of skis for this, they would probably be madshus glittertinds. Lots of great reviews on these skis. My go to skis for this terrain are my 30+ year old karhu xcd in a 210 length. Good tracking and glide. I also use some old black diamond and erbacher telemark skis that don't have a lot of sidecut. Fischer e99s are also a good ski. I would avoid skis with lots of sidecut, as usually there is a sacrifice to be made on the kick and glide. But that is me, I ski for the tour,not the turn. Metal edges are really nice for those icy snowmachine trails,I tend to do lots of snowplowing to control speed on these trails. One caveat is that if you ski with dogs,those metal edges can be dangerous if you and the k9 get tangled up. I have never used nnnbc bindings,so can't comment on them. I like 3pins,with the rottefella super telemark as my favorite. I do like the voile 3pin cable,for the added security of a cable in the unlikely event of a 3pin failure. Probably best to find a boot with a good fit, then buy the binding it requires. Hopefully someone will respond with some suggestions for newer gear for this kind of skiing,as I am a bit of a luddite.

AKengr

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Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby AKengr » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:11 am

Thanks for the advice.

I wondered about speed control. While the terrain is rolling you come across an occasional step section on a narrow trail. Since I am hardly interested in racing, It seems like metal edges and a snow plow could be a good way to control speed on rough narrow trails. Sometime the trail seems to narrow for a telemark or traditional ski turn.

Skis with minimal sidecut also makes sense. Making turns is not the goal.

Looks like they don't make the gliterends anymore but the Madshus BC 55 MGV+ I or the 50s are similar. The fisher spiders also appear similar. But there is a pretty good used ski market up here, so you never know what you can pickup used.

AKengr

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Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby AKengr » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:33 am

One more question: how many of you us metal edged waxed skis for this type of skiing?
If I can get a good deal on a used set that are waxed bases would you buy them?

Chisana

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Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby Chisana » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:13 am

Yes , In fact my quiver of 12 ski sets has only one set of waxless(fishscale) skis, and they are for in track. Backcountry waxing is much simpler than groomed trail ski waxing. Sometimes I kick wax the whole ski, much like we used to do (and I still do) on the old wood skis.

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Smitty

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Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby Smitty » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:00 am

To start with the waxable vs waxless question, I definitely suggest reading the two backcountry waxing threads in the TELEwiki section of the forum! There is a ton of excellent information in there to dispel the myth that waxing has to be tedious voodoo and they give some great guidance. At the end of the day it's a personal decision based on how much prep time you're willing to allocate and your snow conditions. But waxing is still very relevant in BC skiing!

From what I'm getting from your description, I am doing the same skiing in northern Alberta. And I would definitely second Chisana - something in the Glittertind class is a great compromise if you're much more focused on the touring side of the spectrum as opposed to the turning side, but want to maintain stability and control. I don't have any experience on them myself, but the 10th Mountain and S Bounds that you mentioned are softer single camber skis with quite a bit of sidecut to them. They would skew more to the downhill side, slower kick and glide on the flats and worse tracking on the pounded out sled trails.

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Smitty

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Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby Smitty » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:14 am

And you're bang on, the Glittertind was rebranded as BC 55 a few years ago. So you could find specs / reviews / used skis under either name. Just a note on the MGV+ label though, that the name for one of Madshus waxless "fishscale" patterns. So depending on which way you decide, you could go for BC 55 MGV+ waxless or BC55 Wax model.

The Fischer E99 that Chisana mentions is also a really nice ski in this same category, waxable and waxless models over the years, and should be relatively easy to find used or new depending on your local market. The other fellas can likely provide more options for skis of this type.

For reference, I got into this same type of skiing a few years ago. I didn't know exactly what I wanted, so I picked up some used Fischer E89s (one "class" narrower that the Glitt / E99) and Madshus Eons (one "class" wider, more shapely). At the end of the day I am now in the market for a ski like the Glitt / E99 to split the difference as my primary ski. The E89 provides great speed on the packed trails, but a little more width under-foot would be nice for stability, control and float. The wider Eon, although still narrower than the 10th Mountain / S Bound 98, feels a little dead when touring as a single camber ski. And it doesn't track as nicely.

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Smitty

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Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby Smitty » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:24 am

But if you want to maintain some flotation with a relatively narrow touring ski, it is important to select a ski in a traditional length. More length provides the higher surface area for flotation as opposed to being wider under foot. But again, the extra length can make the skis more challenging to turn. It's all a compromise. But for ploughing and wedge turning on trails, there should be no issues with those skis.

There's a lot on here about NNN-BC vs pins. I will leave that to the more experienced folks. I use NNN-BC exclusively so far, and love it for touring through the bush. But I haven't gotten into any downhill turns past ploughing and wedge turns on tight trails - no tele whatsoever.

And sorry for the multiple posts - the phone app seems to give me a character limit per post. Cheers, and Happy skiing!

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Smitty

Rank: XCD Enthusiast
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:37 am
Location: Alberta, Canada
Ski style: Low-Vert Nordic Touring
Favorite Skis: USGI Surplus
Favorite boots: Alfa Perform

Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby Smitty » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:40 am

One more thing before I call it a night - I would be remiss if I did not mention the military surplus skis made by Asnes that you can find at Coleman's:
https://colemans.com/shop/cold-weather- ... is-2-pair/

$30 USD for two pairs, and they are great skis. They are actually my favorite pair currently, there is lots of good information and reviews on here for them under the name Asnes USGI skis.

They are a bit wider than the BC 55 / E99, but they are still double cambered touring skis. Super snappy and stable. My only complaint is that they are quite heavy, making them a bit of a labour on longer trecks or long-slog climbs. But great on the flats and hard pack, and for breaking trail in moderate levels of fresh snow. And you can't beat the price for the build quality!

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bgregoire

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Re: Advice on a BC touring setup?

Postby bgregoire » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:46 pm

AKengr wrote:One more question: how many of you us metal edged waxed skis for this type of skiing?
If I can get a good deal on a used set that are waxed bases would you buy them?


Most everyone here uses metal edges. If I had a good deal on a waxablé bc ski, would I buy it? Yeah and even if I already own several pair!!!! Have you waxed before???,
The time has come to upgrade TTalk with a series of new and exciting profile fields, namely "Ski style", "Favorite skis" and "Favorite boots". With this information displayed under our avatar on each post, the viewer will be better informed of the perspective from which our posts were written. Click here to do the deed: ucp.php

And while you are at it PLEASE upload an avatar (image),WE NEED MORE COLOR FOR 2019!!! 8-)


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